There are certain traits that make a successful board stand apart from those boards that struggle. Especially during these challenging times with the pandemic, boards must ensure they are functioning with the highest standards of excellence.
Here are 7 qualities of a highly effective board which we have come across from coaching and consulting hundreds of directors from different sectors.
1) Same Page:
Successful and effective boards have complete clarity at the top. The collective intentions and interpretation of the purpose, vision, values, and strategy are clear and succinct. This is a key enabler to accelerate growth. Ensure that your board has a blueprint of these 4 core pillars which are hardwired in all directors.
2) Visibility top-down:
The best-in-class boards are fully aware of the business model. They know exactly what the various layers of value are being added and have transparency top down. This is an extremely critical element for the overall success and sustainability of their organization. They are fully aware of the operational pipeline and the money-making recipe for their business.
Highly Effective boards are proactive and always identifying catalysts and signals ahead of time. This ensures they are better prepared to help them to alter course depending on the circumstances and challenges they face.
4) Authentic Engagement:
Highly effective boards are always open and authentic. If directors do not understand a particular issue, they will not hesitate to ask for more information ensuring it is within the guidelines of the discussion. They will contribute without any fear or conflict ensuring that they all have a unified goal to see their company succeed. They deeply engage with other directors and have offline discussions following up on any aspect on which they may have further concerns
5) Succession Pipeline:
Excellent boards always ensure they have the diverse talent needed for the entire board to succeed. This talent comes both from internal selections and external sources. Board selections are carefully vetted and thought through ensuring that not only the skills and competencies are important but always ensuring that the character traits align well with the board’s dynamism.
6) Training and Development:
Boards with high standards ensure they have ongoing training and development, enabling them to make more effective contributions to the growth and success of their business. This training is focused on what is relevant ensuring that the company achieves maximum return on their time spent.
Highly effective boards will appraise board members and the overall board functions giving candid feedback ensuring that the relevant tweaks are taken to sharpen the overall board performance. Board members are further receptive and open to stepping up their game where they see any gaps.
While these 7 qualities of highly effective boards are not exhaustive by any measure, they do enable boards to achieve the desired leverage up to a certain degree. They are always keen and curious to grow and achieve the results within the set parameters which form the core growth structure that is deeply connected to the purpose and vision of the organization.
Learn more about our cutting-edge program Achieving Boardroom Excellence which is an end-to-end program resulting in you becoming a highly effective director.